Post # -Swapping Pinot Noir - Shiraz's Story
2019 was a busy year and Isa and I needed a little r&r away and decided to visit the county for the weekend in early July. No visit to PEC is complete without seeing Dan and we found some time to connect at Midtown Brewing for a beer and pizza (a must!). We were discussing the Pinot Affair and how we can stage his presentation at Malivoire that year and possibly integrate in into our Pinot Affair experience. It dawned on me then that we had to do a collaboration and insisted Dan visit me during his next trip to Niagara to propose the swap.
When we got our bins of PEC fruit from Rosehall, it was so unique from the pinot noir we do here. Harvested much later and cooler, I was stunned by the small clusters, small berries and thick skins. And such low pH and brix yet so much depth, it was a dream to work with. With such intact clusters, I pushed up the whole cluster portion to 30%. The rest of the fermentation and elevage followed as closely as I would with our bench pinot, so that we can truly see the expression of Hillier – PEC terroir. What an opportunity!
Dan Sullivan's Story
It was a hot day in early July when Shiraz told me to hop in his Ford Ranger pick-up truck to go for a ride. He took me up winding Quarry road and we turned right into the verdant green of a July vineyard on the Bench. Looking down the slopes of Mottiar vineyard, I could see across Lake Ontario to the Toronto skyline. It was here he suggested that we pay homage to the terroir that we hold so close to our hearts. Shiraz suggested that exchange fruit for this project that would be come to be known Brothers from another mother.
Fast forward to October- I was delighted to receive about 900 Kilos of prime Mottiar vineyard Pinot Noir. Two weeks later, we sent some out best fruit from our 828/115 clones in the west block back to him. I have never done a single vineyard Beamsville bench Pinot Noir before, but it was immediately apparent that this was a different animal from my previous projects. However, while we may both be ‘brothers from another mother’ plying our craft, it is the land that the grapes come from at the end of the day that speaks the loudest for us both.
With the wonderful fruit guiding the process, I was able to craft something that I believe honors the vineyards that I was looking at back on that hot July afternoon. I look forward to sharing it with you.